Faculty and staff burnout in higher education was an issue before COVID. Since the start of the pandemic, this issue has only intensified, and existing inequities amplified.
Here are some of the articles discussing burnout during COVID that we find helpful in naming emergent issues and providing suggestions for future action:
- “‘On the Verge of Burnout:’ Covid-19’s impact on faculty well-being and career plans,” which features sections on mental exhaustion, disparate effects, and institutional responses
- “Preparing for Another Semester of Pandemic Instruction,” with advice specifically for BIPOC faculty
- “Measures to Support Faculty During COVID-19,” which discusses areas for institutional responses to support faculty
- “Burning Out,” which dives into burnout and its institutional dimensions
Often discussions of burnout lead to discussions of self care. And while self care is important (meditation is an evidence-based practice, after all!), it is important to attend to structural, cultural, and institutional issues that individualize and/or pathologize faculty. In this regard, we are happy to feature the work of Travis Heath, a new Visiting Clinical Associate Professor in GSPP. His work focuses on moving beyond constructs of self care to communities of care. We are inspired by this formulation and hope it can infuse our conversation with both structural solutions and ways that faculty can create and sustain communities of care in their departments, units, and across campus.